It’s funny now

It’s September 11th and I’m at an airport, again. I’ve flown on this day many times in the past 12 years. It doesn’t spook me.
It does get me thinking about my first flight after that date in 2001.
My world, like everyone’s world had stopped for weeks. It was not business as usual both personally and professionally.
Events were cancelled or postponed – and everyone was in a collective fog.
Slowly – the wheels started turning again and we began to plan events at work.
Early October I boarded a flight out of JFK to Rochester, NY. I was flying in for a quick site inspection and out that same day.
I decided to fly Jet Blue. They were a new airline back then and one of the only that had free Direct TV at every seat. Sold!
The flight was completely normal. Then it was time to land.
As we approached the runway, all of us felt the plane speed up. It bumped the runway and hopped back in the air.
Everyone looked around nervously and waited for an announcement. Nothing.
We were back in the air.
Again we approached the runway, bumped harder and back up we went.
I was at the window seat. The older woman sitting next me grabbed my hand, she was crying. We could hear people praying and crying. Some folks shouted to the crew.
Still no announcement.
The plane circled again and began its decent.
This time we landed.
The pilot came on and happily said,”sorry folks! Third times the charm.”
Silence.
The yelling didn’t start until we exited.
Jet Blue sent us all an apology and a coupon.
I’m flying Southwest today.

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The Big Apple

Despite a rocky start – we had a great weekend. My son’s team won their first soccer game of the season (8-1) and the weather was beautiful.  We had promised to take one of my daughter’s friends to NYC – her very first visit, and Saturday was the day.

They had a blast – and I had a blast watching them have a blast.

Although they let me take a ton of pictures during the day – the only ones I’m permitted to show are the following:

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We started our day here. Now, you’re probably thinking that you’ve never seen this in the top NYC destinations list…well it should be. This is Glaser’s Bake Shop. On the upper east side of Manhattan – called Old Yorkville. Over a 100 years old, owned by the same family that started it and still going strong.  It’s an important focal point in our tour of the city, it’s also an important focal point in my family’s life. My husband and most of his family (including me!) worked at Glaser’s at one point or another. Herb, one of the two brothers that now runs it, is one of my husband’s dearest friends. A father figure that has been in his life for decades. He’s also my daughter’s Godfather. This is also where our little family got it’s start.  Our very first apartment in NYC was on the third floor of the bakery building.  We were married while living there – we had our baby there, who’s now 8 feet tall and showing her pal all the sites of her old neighborhood.  We wouldn’t know what to do without Uncle Herbie.

So that was stop one. We loaded up on Herb’s famous black and white cookies and off we went.

And since our sweet tooth was raging after Glaser’s – we headed right to Dylan’s Candy Bar (check!). The only place where I’ll let my kids eat from a chocolate fountain. Which, generally, I think are really gross. I imagine buckets of cheap, melted chocolate being used over and over again. Yuck. But the last time we were here, I spoke to the woman who ran the fountain – and she said they throw out the unused “liquid” and if they see anyone’s finger/hand/hair/body part touch the chocolate – it’s over. They shut it down. Is this true? I dunno. But I liked her attempt. So I was ok with the girls partaking. I passed on it. Communal dipping fountains are just not my thing. No matter what the nice lady says.

We hopped on a subway (check!) and headed downtown.

We landed right in the middle of a street fair.

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From there we walked to Washington Square Park (check!) and then to Union Square (check!)- who needs America’s Got Talent, these performers were much better.

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The girls – “ummm…do you smell that….”

Me – “incense! That’s incense! Let’s keep walking…”

Then my daughter’s pal said,”I’ve never been in a taxi.”

We fixed that. We made her flag the cabbie down (stealing it from an angry young hipster to boot!).

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(that’s a slurpie in their hands, and per Mayor Bloomberg, it’s a small)

We ended the day in Times Square (check!). By then the girls were tired, hungry and worn-out.  Success!  I took some touristy shots – but they liked their selfie the best.

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These two beauties are even prettier on the inside.

Comedy of Errors without the Comedy

It was a simple plan.

Friday night my son had soccer practice at 6:30. I was going to drop him off, watch a bit of practice and leave.

My daughter and a friend had to go to a dance at 7:00. And by had to I mean they would have LITERALLY died without going to this dance.

My husband planned to get home from work by 6:30, join me at the soccer field so I could take off and he could take him home.

We were meeting some friends for dinner at 7:30.

We can do this. We’ve done this before, like, a million times. I’ll drop off the boy. My husband will pick him up, buy him dinner, bring him to a friend’s for a sleepover, and go straight to the restaurant. I will drop off the girls  (another mom was doing pick-up) and meet at the restaurant. All’s well.

Then here’s what happened.

When I got to the soccer field I couldn’t find our team. I know that sounds insane – but it’s a sea of 9 year boys running around a football field. And they don’t wear their uniforms for practice – thanks for asking. It also turned out that they moved from our usual spot to the back field. Anyhoo, we didn’t get there till 6:45.

At 6:50 my husband called to say there is terrible traffic. He’s not making it to the field by 7:15.

No worries, I say. I’ll stay at the field and take him back, you (I’m looking at you husband), take the girls to the dance.

Small caveat that I had to fill him in on. On the way to the dance, you have to stop by another kid’s house and pick him up too.

Another small caveat I had to fill him in on. The dance was in the next town over.

As every wife and mother out there knows, there are certain details of how we get our day done which are on a “Need to Know” basis.

“Why didn’t I know that this dance wasn’t in our town?” he asks.

“What? Who are we picking up? Where?” he shouts.

Need to know baby. As in up until now, you didn’t need to know.

I’ll spare you the “spirited” discussion and “colorful” language that flowed like water from both of us. Did I mention that we never remembered to call our friends and say we’d be late?

We did make it to dinner – at 7:45. Not bad for a total breakdown of plans and routine.

Thankfully our dinner companions laughed off the lateness when we told them our tale of woe. You see, they have grown kids, and I’m sure they were thinking,” you think it’s bad now…wait until next year.”

But they didn’t tell us that. It’s on a “Need to Know” basis.

 

 

 

This is what keeps me going

Last night my daughter came home from school and plopped on the couch.

She’s still getting back into the swing of high school hours. As am I.

She smiled big and said,” guess what happened today?”

Here’s why I love these moments: a) it means she’s going to share something with me…actually TELL me something – verbally!  And b) it’s probably something positive since bad news is delivered via text (it’s written in the 14-year-old code of behavior).

Back to her story. She found $20 on the stairs at school yesterday morning. So, she tells me matter-of-factly, she took the money to the office and gave it to the receptionist. The nice lady told her to stop by at the end of the day – if no one had claimed the money – it was hers. At this point in the story, she whipped out the bill and smiled big.

“That was so nice of you to bring it to the office” I said, to which she replied,” it could have been someone’s lunch money and I really felt bad for them.”

Small story, I know. But it made me feel so good.

Let me tell you a secret. When I look at my daughter, here’s the face I still see….

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and this one

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This will help you understand why I wanted to cry and sob tears of joy when she told me this story. And it wasn’t that I was so shocked by her wanting to give the money back or do the right thing – that’s pretty normal for her. It was that she knew how easy it could have been to shove the money in her pocket and never say a word – and she didn’t.

I told her she was a true humanitarian. She didn’t need to see proof of suffering to do the right thing – she did it because there was only one right thing to do.

Then she rolled her eyes and went up to her room.

The end.

 

Nice Doggy…

We had a yard sale this morning.

Apparently this is the weekend for this type of thing. We got out there early – really early and had people all morning.

Our neighborhood has great walking paths – there’s always folks out with their babies or dogs or both.

Now…before I begin the rest of this post…let me be clear. There’s one thing that I usually don’t discuss with people. No, not religion or politics or money – I have no problem talking about that stuff (as long as you’re a grown-up and not secretly angry).

What I’m talking about is a subject near and dear to many people’s hearts. I’m talking about pets.  Pets. Specifically, my non-love for/of them. My complete un-need for pets. I know. I’m a monster.  I don’t stroke, coo, or otherwise touch them. Do I wish them harm? No! NO! I love that you love pets. Dogs, cats, birds, whatever. Good for you. It’s just not my thang.

My husband is a cat person. He’s had and loved cats his whole life. He’s made our children cat people too.  And we have one. Lexi, a very pretty Calico. Before her we had a very street smart, rat-turned-cat that my husband found behind a dumpster in the Bronx named Virgo.  I’ve posted pics before.  I offer this not as an excuse, but merely as part of my history.

Back to the yard sale.

As I said, we set up early for all the hardcore “buyers” who troll the neighborhood at 6am. During the course of the morning, we met many of our near and far neighbors. Some were curt and all business – nodding and forging ahead. But many were super friendly. Stopping to chat and look around.

Many of the awesome folks that stopped had dogs. And inevitably, I felt deep guilt when I didn’t acknowledge the dog. Because you see I know you love that dog. And I think that dog is awful cute. But here’s what happens, when I say something about the dog, like, “oh how cute” or “what a sweetie” or something – all of which I mean sincerely –  you immediately loosen the harness so the dog can come closer and I can pet said dog.

And then….nothing. You get nothing from me. I start stuffing my hands in my pockets. I start fixing my hair. I do anything but pet/stroke/touch the dog.

Awkward.

Because what you don’t know is that I don’t even pet the animals that live in my house.

I blame my parents. We never had pets – until I went away to school – then my family had a pet revolution. Everywhere you looked there was a big, fluffy dog. I missed out.

So you see I appreciate you and your love for the dog/cat/bird/fish – but I’d rather not touch it.

Is that ok?

Am I still a good person?

I’d rather kiss a 100 snotty babies than rub a dog’s belly. I’m a freak.

Not news.

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